February 15, 2021
Cuddled up with my friend, Shay, we chat about life and it’s impacts to your mind, body, and spirit, ‘Hanging with Mr. Cooper’ is playing on the TV and I look back at my computer, procrastinating. I’m listening to his wisdom respond to my experiences as I contemplate the message he feeds me and feel it on my fingertips becoming the opening to this article. I think to myself… to flex, or not to flex? SOS…!
Him: It’s your time. Now. It’s been given away and-- are you kidding me? You were there for everyone else, aren’t you tired?
Him: Isn’t this your time? Fuck tha-- (pokes my chest) You-gotta-take-YOUR-time or others will keep taking advantage of your time. Are you ready? Are you excited? You should be, you’re leveling up. You ready to put yourself first? Don’t you owe it to yaself? This is ya moment, man. When is it going to be Noemi’s time?
Me: Hmm.. (and I am thinking...) I know this...but why do I feel scared I will get sick again..?
The art of living is, to me, complex. Which lives deepest in the complexities of an artist’s life. I find that the difference between surviving and thriving is mastering the art of being healthy. This is mental, physical and spiritual health that I’m talking about. Key point: understanding the emotions during the process. Gratitude shines light in dark places and shadows are simply space holders that shape our innerstanding.
Ok. That was mad deep. Let me break it down: If you are sick, you can create more pain. If you are mad, you can create with adrenaline. If you are happy, you can create memories.
The year 2020 was a rough year for me. I didn’t catch COVID, but I wouldn’t wish the excruciating pain I endured on anyone, who, at least, didn't deserve it. I am an Expressive Healing Artist. Which means I have been offering therapeutic, safe, and brave spaces for hundreds of people in my life for over 10 years with the intention to free pain from our bodies. That formed a few diseases inside me, because as I was feeding people medicine, I was eating their traumas, while struggling to release my own. I have learned that I make my strongest art when I am the happiest and confident in myself. Every artist is different.
Some take their pain and create masterpieces, some scare people, and some change lives for the better. As I did my best to quarantine, I fell into a deeper depression, met Anxiety Annie, and she let me develop fatty liver disease due to emotionally eating processed food and not exercising. I mean I am still finding strength to get out my home, sanctuary, comfort zone. I was also still busy. Angry that my body was shutting down, I still stuck to my projects and commitments, surrendered to Sertraline and Hydroxyzine, and meditated to the reality I am now embarking. It’s my time.
In a matter of a 3 month span, I had 4 surgeries, 3 procedures, and have been treating my new found allergy, Dust. HAHAHA all my life I have been sniffling and spitting boogers, to find out I am allergic to.. Haha anyways.. My biggest transformation is my own body! I am the work of art! My body is a canvas and I am dusting myself off, stripping layers of bad images, and bringing out the best colors I want to show off. This is what I wish for everyone. I wish for you. I desire to see you flex. It makes me happy to see people happy and healthy and I will always be here and a part of that journey in this time. Are you ready to love yourself and find that you are the artist of your own life?
Me: How do you know when an art/artworks makes you feel healthy? What is Art?
Shay: What you feel inside. It’s personal, a form of expression.
Me: Do you consider yourself an artist?
Shay: Yeah! Of course. It’s in the littlest things. Walking, talking, eating, everything is art my nigga. We are all artists.
Me: How do you flex? Like what’s a good day in the life of Shay?
Shay: I do my deep breathing, take 30 minute walks, release my energy, see family, connect with strangers. I know that's weird, but I need to do that man, there’s so many people in this world, I’m just Shay, I can meet anyone.
Me: Tell me more…
Shay: Work, play ball, see my brother, he’s a prodigy man… He’s like you, mad good with making music and art. I made beats too. Have you heard of WAV’s?
Me: I mean yeah, cuz of my producers, but tell me more…
Shay: Iight I mean it’s been a long time, but what I remember….
And just like that… I feel good, right in my solar plexus, and a yellow light keeps us warm.
To continue learning more about workshops, events, resources for human rights activism, music, and expressive healing opportunities, please contact Noemi Saafyr Paz at email@example.com or visit her website at www.saafyrexpress.com.